Tejas Channagiri presents 'tasty research' in dissertation.

Posted: January 22, 2018

In his dissertation, Tejas Channagiri, a PhD candidate in strategic management at Gatton, investigates the role of status differences among firms in impacting their motivation to launch competitive moves against one another. The question is an interesting and important one to answer because extant research makes equivocal predictions. Some research indicates that status hierarchies are characterized by lower status actors accepting rather than questioning their position within the hierarchy. Other research, however, indicates that lower status actors are likelier to be watching and be envious of their higher status counterparts.

Under the guidance of Prof. Walter Ferrier, Tejas offers a partial resolution of this puzzle by theorizing and testing the role of two contingencies – market commonality, which refers to the extent to which a firm is a major player in markets important to another, and helping behaviors by higher status firms. He tests his hypotheses in the empirical context of food trucks in the Lexington area. This context was perfect for his study because it allowed him to operationalize all key variables in his study in an optimal manner. Food trucks in Lexington are characterized by a clear status hierarchy and the ease of tracking their locations helps measure market commonality. In addition, he was able to administer surveys and conduct semi-structured interviews with the very friendly food trucks owners, setting a precedent in competitive dynamics, the larger area within which his research resides. He has concluded quantitative analyses and is currently conducting semi-structured interviews with food truck owners to understand his results better from their viewpoint. He is also supplementing his study with a set of experiments that he will roll out through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk tool. Tejas and Walter wish to especially thank the food trucks listed below for having participated in the research.

  • Bradford BBQ
  • Chef Doug's Snack Shack
  • Crank & Boom
  • Daughters Southern
  • Dolce Cafe
  • Epic Cure
  • Go Go Burger
  • Mr. Gyros
  • Hogfather's BBQ
  • J Render's BBQ
  • Kentasty Breaktime Cafe
  • Minton's 760
  • Red State BBQ
  • Rick's Hot Dogs
  • Rolling Oven Mobile Pizzeria
  • Salsarita's Fresh Cantina
  • Whooo Wants Waffles